SP, Nasdaq Slip from Record Levels as Earnings Season Gains Speed

NEW YORK, Jan 26 Reuters The SP and Nasdaq slipped from record levels at the close on Tuesday as investors digested a batch of corporate earnings results, while an expected policy announcement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday helped to limit moves.

3M Co climbed as one of the biggest boosts on the Dow after it benefited from lower costs and demand for disposable respirator masks, hand sanitizers and safety glasses amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

Johnson Johnson also provided a strong lift as the drugmaker said it expected to report eagerly awaited COVID19 vaccine data early next week.

Of the 84 companies in the SP 500 that posted earnings through Tuesday morning, 86.9 have topped analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv data.

Still, some companies showed the toll the pandemic has had on their businesses. American Express Co fell and was the biggest drag on the Dow after it posted a 15 drop in quarterly profit as pandemicled lockdowns and business restrictions kept the credit card issuers members from traveling and dining out.

Verizon lost ground after the company posted earnings that topped expectations but missed prepaid phone subscriber estimates.

It is still somewhat the early days but we are getting into the heart of it here, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

Expectations are for a continuation of the massive positive surprises we saw last quarter. The risk is that if the expectations are…

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